An aggravating, repetitive idiot to some and a comedic genius to others, Will Ferrell has often times been a polarizing figure. However, what is undeniable is that Ferrell has become probably the most successful former-SNL-star-turned-movie-maker of all time (with the possible exception of Bill Murray). With huge financial hits (Anchorman, Elf, Blades of Glory, Talladega Nights, The Other Guys) and a well received transition to more dramatic fare (Stranger Than Fiction), Ferrell remains a considerable force in the film industry 15 years after appearing in bit parts in the Austin Powers movies and 1999′s Dick. So let us look back on this oafish funnyman and reflect on some of craziest characters and best poop jokes he has ever given us.
This is Top Five: Will Ferrell.
5. Blades of Glory (2007)
Released amidst the deluge of Will Ferrell “sports movies” that saturated the cinemas in the mid-2000′s Blades of Glory might be easy to overlook. However, the pairing of Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite as male figure skaters being forced to compete in the “pairs” category is so over-the-top with its premise and so relentlessly silly that Glory becomes far more successful than other Ferrell efforts like Kicking and Screaming or Semi Pro. Also, Ferrell is able to deliver a great performance with Chazz Michael Michaels, an over-sexed, bull-headed egomaniac who delivers one of the film’s best lines when his coach asks him what his pairing with Heder’s Jimmy has that other pairs don’t: “…Twin dongs?”.
4. Zoolander (2001)
In this MTV Movie Award nominated comedy Ferrell took on the supporting role of fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu and often times completely stole the show from Ben Stiller‘s hilarious and charming simpleton. Adorned with garish costumes and an outrageous haircut, Ferrell’s lunatic brand of nonsense it utilized perfectly by director Stiller, who offers us just enough of the comedian to enhance the film but does not allow for Mugatu to wear out his welcome. The actor’s performance, combined with this restraint, allows for many of the film’s best scenes to belong to Ferrell.
Following in Jim Carrey‘s footsteps, Stranger Than Fiction was where Ferrell attempted to expand upon his range by headlining a dramedy where the nature of the protagonist’s reality is threatened. While not quite as successful as Carrey’s own transitional film (The Truman Show) Fiction offers a deeply thoughtful and emotionally involving performance from Farrell as Harold Crick, one which certainly proves the actor’s malleability.
2. The Other Guys (2010)
After the monumental failure of Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell was in dire need of some much-needed critical and commercial goodwill. He found it in The Other Guys, and through the remarkably unexpected yet successful decision to cast Mark Wahlberg opposite of him. Guys is a really enjoyable film that functions well as from both a comedic and action perspective. Riddled with tangential scenes that almost play like their own separate vignettes (such as the flash-back to Ferrell’s character Allen transforming into his alter-ego, Gator) The Other Guys is filled with unpredictable, whimsical humor (exhibited in the form of Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock’s characters’ decision to simply jump off a roof) and contains probably what is Ferrell’s best performance.
1. Anchorman (2004)
This is it; this is the film which made Will Ferrell who he is today and sparked a summer of catch-phrases that continue to be utilized eight years after its release. Anchorman is a film that seems to take the whole philosophy of, “throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks,” to an almost grotesque level. Lots of things about this film don’t really seem to work (such as when the dog Baxter leaps into the bear pit and starts communicating with them) but when the jokes connect, they connect strongly. From the Sex Panther cologne to Ferrell’s conversations with his character’s dog, to the street-brawl between four different news teams, Anchorman often times feels more like a chaotic stream-of-consciousness from a disturbed mind than an actual narrative film. With its endless barrage of cameos and absurd sense of humor Anchorman became one of those definitive mainstream films from the 2000′s and turned one particular funny-man into a bona fide star.
Did we leave out a particular performance that you feel should have made the cut? Let us know in the comments section!